There's a weird divide in the Japanese underground scene. I guess I can get a little more specific and say "Japanese screamo" scene, at least in the instance I'm talking about. Each band has their group of friends that they play with, and there's usually a network stretching across Japan that enables these bands to play around a lot. Back in the early 2000's, I was most familiar with the scene that Gauge Means Nothing was a part of, which included other bands like Dip Leg, Nitro Mega Prayer, Yarmulke, Tiala, and some others. What's odd, though, is that there were other bands that were not a part of that group. I'm not sure where the disconnect was, or how bands were invited or uninvited to take part in the group, but it has always stuck out to me. I know I'm talking in abstracts, so let me get into an example.
Anchor, who I posted about earlier, has been around for probably around 12 years now. They don't seem to play that often and haven't put out a ton of releases, but they are definitely an important band in the scene. But, even though their styles definitely meld with a lot of the other bands in Japan, they are usually found at the outskirts of that scene. In fact, they kind of have their own scene with bands like Stubborn Father, Anode, and R3-N7. There is some overlap. Satire Records' amazing Light Your Own Way compilation included Stubborn Father and Anchor on it, but that seemed to be the exception instead of the rule. I don't really know if it's a negative thing or not, and I'm not trying to cast judgement. It's just something I've noticed that seems curious to me.
With that, I can now introduce Arrastrandose, who is in a similar position. I would almost think that they would play in the same circle as Anchor and Stubborn Father. Their music owes a lot to envy, but has a very unique bend to it. But in truth, Arrastrandose seems to play with more tough-guy hardcore and metalcore bands. They do have some of that in their music, but it would make an odd mix to have them couched in between two bands with gang vocals, for instance.
But that's not to say anything bad about their music, which is pretty exceptional. It's really a testament to the treasures you can find in Japan, because only there would you see this mash-up of post-rock, metalcore, screamo, and a little bit of grind. Arrastrandose can't really be compared to any other bands, but will probably appeal to anyone with an open mind. It's weird to think this album (only 7 songs, but I guess it's an album) was released 8 years ago now, but the band is still going strong. I watched a video of a show from last December, and it seems like they've fallen into the post rock void, leaving behind their old aggression. Here's a video which is more similar to this album (although I can't quite place the song):